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5 WCHS students attended GSP last summer

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By Jesse Osbourne

 

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Five Washington County High School students were selected to participate in the Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) last summer. They are Candace Kimball, Callah Kimball, Will Begley, David Haydon and Maegen Satterly.


According to the website for the program, “The Governor’s Scholars Program strives to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders.  Established in 1983, the program provides academic and personal growth through the balance of a strong liberal arts program with a full co-curricular and residential life experience. Students must complete an application and compete with others from across the state. Those selected attend the program free of charge.”
The Springfield Sun asked the GSP scholars to respond to a questionnaire.

David Haydon
David Haydon attended GSP at Centre College in Danville.
He is the son of Alan and Jan Haydon.
What exactly did you study and why did you choose that particular subject?
I studied physical science, mostly chemistry. I chose this because when I applied I was really interested in a major in chemistry and thought that the physical science focus area would help me learn about what I would be doing.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
The thing I enjoyed most would be getting to meet all the new people. The atmosphere allowed you to get to know people on a very deep level. Spending every day together with them allowed you to form life-long friendships.
What are some of the most important things you learned?
Some of the most important things I learned were that everything does not fit into categories, do everything with confidence, and to bring down barriers you have to embrace difficulty.
How did your experience influence your thoughts about college?
I am really looking forward to college. GSP helped me to discover that I really want to major in literature. While I enjoy science, I love to read and write. The RAs also really helped when you needed to talk about college in general or the college they attended.
Would you encourage other students to participate in Governors Scholars? Why or why not?
I would absolutely encourage other students to participate in the Governor’s Scholars Program. GSP is so different than high school. When you are there it is like a completely different world. You spend all day, every day with new people. It also allows you to find new interests and ideas that are completely new.
What are your future plans?
I hope to attend Western Kentucky University as a student in the honor’s college. I am going to major in English with a concentration in literature. After graduating college I hope to earn my masters and Ph.D in literature.

Will Begley
Will Begley attended GSP at Murray State University in Murray.
He is the son of Kenny and Cindy Begley.
What exactly did you study and why did you choose that particular subject?
I studied historical analysis, where we looked in depth at the significance of famous figures within American history. I chose to participate in this subject because I have a passion for history. It is something that I enjoy debating and learning about constantly.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I would have to say that the people I met at GSP are some of the best friends I will have for years to come. We became very close over our five-week program. They made my summer the best five weeks of my life.
What are some of the most important things you learned?
I learned how to better work together in a group. The thing about GSP is that all of the individuals who attend are leaders, so team building and leadership becomes even more of a key to completing tasks. It taught me to listen to everyone’s opinion and be open to debate, even if you disagree with it.
How did your experience influence your thoughts about college?
I still feel pretty set on my life after high school, but after Governor’s Scholar, I was forced to re-evaluate my plans. I’ve begun to possibly consider a minor in history, but am not completely sure.
Would you encourage other students to participate in Governors Scholars? Why or why not?
I absolutely encourage individuals to apply for GSP. It was easily the best five weeks of my life. I met so many amazing people and learned so many new things. It also helps lift a financial burden that is put on you by colleges. I believe no matter what kind of person you are, GSP will definitely better you and push you to your fullest potential.
What are your future plans?
I plan to attend the University of Louisville next fall and want to major in civil engineering.

Maegen Satterly
Maegen Satterly attended GSP at Murray State University in Murray.
She is the daughter of Ricky and Sonya Satterly.
What exactly did you study and why did you choose that particular subject?
While attending the Governor’s Scholar Program at Murray State University, I studied communication and social studies. I chose this subject because I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to learn more about the way people interact socially.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
While at GSP I made friends that became like a second family. They are amazing people that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet had it not been for this wonderful opportunity. Being able to make close relationships in a short amount of time was definitely a great experience in itself.
What are some of the most important things you learned?
I learned perseverance pays off, to appreciate new experiences, and not to let fear hold me back. GSP made me realize how much I appreciate those who love and support me. And possibly the most important thing I learned was where you come and who  you surround yourself with have a huge impact on the type of person you become.
How did your experience influence your thoughts about college?
Before leaving, I was apprehensive about being away from home for five weeks, leaving behind the ones I love, and being surrounded by complete strangers. But the experience proved to me that I am ready to embrace college life.
Would you encourage other students to participate in Governors Scholars? Why or why not?
Absolutely, when previous scholars told me “You don’t really understand it until you go,” they couldn’t have been more spot on. It’s a wonderful experience that exposes you to a multitude of different outlooks on issues. I would encourage anyone to participate in this program because it’s not only an eye-opening experience to the views of those around you, but it also makes you look inward, learning more about yourself.
What are your future plans?
My future plans are to attend the University of Kentucky.

Candace Kimball
Candace Kimball attended GSP at Bellarmine University in Louisville.
She is the daughter of Troy and Rita Kimball.
What exactly did you study and why did you choose that particular subject?
I studied architectural design. In my GSP application, I debated whether or not to choose this focus area. I had no experience in architecture and I can’t draw. In the end, I had the class and loved it. We took small trips  to look at different “spaces,” as our instructor, Dr. Bryan Orthel called them, and we designed and built a balloon structure with super glue and string.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
My favorite part of GSP was hanging out with new people. From Chinese take-out every Friday to deep discussions about issues in society, I got to know some amazing people who I now get to call friends.
What are some of the most important things you learned?
The most important thing that I learned was to support and stay firm in my opinions in a respectful environment despite the strong opinions of others.
How did your experience influence your thoughts about college?
I feel GSP has prepared me for college, by giving me a taste of even higher expectations and how to manage my time.
Would you encourage other students to participate in Governors Scholars? Why or why not?
Absolutely. GSP is definitely one of the greatest learning experiences, both academically and socially. Also, completing the program allows many opportunities for merit-based financial aid in college.
What are your future plans?
I plan to attend Campbellsville University and major in secondary mathematics education. Also, I want to go abroad (whether that is connected with school or my church) while staying involved in this community.

Callah Kimball
Callah Kimball attended GSP at Bellarmine University in Louisville.
She is the daughter of Troy and Rita Kimball.
What exactly did you study and why did you choose that particular subject?
There were three different types of classes in the Governor’s Scholars Program: seminar, general studies, and focus area. Seminar classes functioned to provide an open environment where discussion of highly-debatable subjects in our current society could take place. General studies class topics were chosen by individual instructors, and your focus area was one of the three topics you selected during the application process (unless there were scheduling conflicts).
My general studies class focused on giving back to the community and the environment, so it was fitting that my class engage in community service. On one occasion, we worked with refugee children. We read them “The Giving Tree,” helped them label plants in a garden (in their language and in English), and worked with them to make pizza. On another occasion, we dedicated our time to plant almost 30 trees in the Bernheim Forest. This class nurtured my passion for serving others.
My focus area was music. At first, I worried that this class would be filled with musical prodigies and I fail in comparison to them, but that was not the case at all. The students in my class came from all different kinds of musical backgrounds: some sang, others played instruments, some could read music, others played it by ear, some were in school bands, and others played music only with their family. No one shone above another, and we appreciated the diversity of our knowledge. All of our personalities meshed perfectly, and in just a few days we became very close friends. Together, we studied rhythms, melodies, vocal basics, opera, music therapy, and composition. We attended “The Stephen Foster Story” in Bardstown and the Porgy and Bess opera in Cincinnati. Also we had peer teaching days, where two students were paired together and taught each other something on an instrument. I learned to play “Amazing Grace” on violin and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on flute while I taught one student to play a scale on French horn and another to play “Amazing Grace” on French horn. I loved every person in my focus area, and it instantly became my favorite class.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
One of the coolest things was the number of twins on the Bellarmine campus (and in the program as a whole). Bellarmine had eight sets of twins on campus, and there were 16 sets in the whole program. (This statistic even excludes sets of twins where one was accepted into the program and the other didn’t apply or wasn’t accepted. I met a couple of students that would fall into this category.)
The campus activities were one of my favorite aspects of GSP. I participated in the running club, the four-square club, the kickball club, the knitting club, and the GSP band. It didn’t matter if you had any experience in these activities; it was encouraged that you tried something new. One evening, all Governor’s Scholars on campus participated in an Evening with the Arts; each student signed up for two sessions of activities including cookie decorating, splatter painting, play-dough sculptures, tie-dying, sock puppets, or other more conventional activities. Other campus activities included community trips; I went to the Muhammad Ali Museum, Mammoth Cave, and a Louisville Bats game. Smaller activities also took place on campus that developed strong friendships with each other; we were constantly playing cards games, the dart game, Mafia, Assassin, and ordering delivery food. My sister, a new friend, and I made a ritual of ordering Chinese on Fridays and then playing card games until it was time for class. All these activities that GSP provided gave me an opportunity to make life-long friends in just a few weeks.
What are some of the most important things you learned?
The program didn’t provide very much “textbook” knowledge, but it gave me experiences that I will use to further develop my leadership skills and to serve my community. One such experience was a campus-wide community service project in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity. In just four weeks, the GSP students on Bellarmine’s Campus built a house with Habitat for Humanity volunteers for an immigrant family in Louisville. Seeing the family smiling at the doorsteps of their own house was a wonderful moment that renewed my passion helping others.
How did your experience influence your thoughts about college?
Living on a college campus for five weeks gave me the experience I needed to feel prepared for campus life as a college student. I learned to manage time for classes, meals, campus activities, and hanging out with friends. While I’ll cherish these last months as a high school student, GSP has made me excited about college and the new opportunities it will give me.
Would you encourage other students to participate in Governors Scholars? Why or why not?
I would most definitely encourage other students to participate in the Governor’s Scholars Program. Besides the monetary incentives (many Kentucky colleges and universities offer large scholarships or full-tuition scholarships to participants), the program gives you a taste of college life and independence, places you in an environment where you can grow as a leader, and develop lasting-friendships.
What are your future plans?
I plan to attend Campbellsville University where I’ll major in Spanish and minor in music. I also want to study abroad and participate in my church’s mission trips to Spain and Nicaragua.